Seasonal local food recipe No 114: Summer carrots, herb sauce

Another simple, late summer recipe from Nigel Slater in the Observer. It’s a fresher, more up-to-date version of the traditional dish of carrots in parsley sauce.

Nigel says: “A bunch of young carrots doesn’t last long in this house. Munched like sweets, they often go before I even have time to rinse them. The usual cooking method is to steam them and toss them in butter and chopped parsley. Nothing wrong with that, but this way is much more interesting.”

Serves 4 as a side dish

Preparation / cooking: 20 minutes


slim, young carrots 2 bunches
shallot 1, medium-sized
basil 1 small bunch
parsley 6 bushy sprigs
dill 8 sprigs
crème fraîche 200ml
lemon juice a good squeeze

Wipe or rinse the carrots, but don’t peel them, then place them in a steamer basket or colander set over a pan of boiling water. Steam for 7-10 minutes till tender, but not soft. If you prefer to boil them in lightly salted water, do so, then drain them.

Peel and very finely chop the shallot. Remove the leaves from the basil and parsley and discard the stems, then chop them, quite finely, together with the dill fronds. You should have a couple of good handfuls of chopped herbs. Put the crème fraîche into a saucepan large enough to take the carrots in a single layer, add the shallot, herbs and the lemon juice and bring to the boil. Season with black pepper and a little salt, then add the drained, whole carrots. Leave to simmer for a couple of minutes with the occasional stir, taking care not to break the carrots up. Serve immediately.

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